Q: What is the most pressing topic in the U.S. since you are the chairman of ISCA, what is the most pressing concern among Muslims in the U.S. at the moment and what's being done to solve it?
A: Thank you very much for this question. It is an important question that we are looking for a solution for it and an answer for it. Too many subjects relate to this question but in reality the Muslims are not united. If the Muslim are united, then it is so easy to have a better understanding and have a better understanding of the others. You know United States is a very open country, very democratic country, very open-minded country, very modeled. The pressing problem today, the pressing subject, is how to show our American brothers and sisters, how to share with them the values of Islam and the values that Prophet (s) brought to humanity about the moral excellence, which many Muslims even don't know about it. They only focus on the five pillars of Islam: to say shahada, prayers, fast Ramadan, pay your zakat, and making Hajj. They don't focus or put a great attention to the other two parts of the religion, which are faith (Imaan) and Ihsaan (moral excellence). So, you cannot be a Muslim if you are cheating or deceiving because these values are the most important within the message of Sayyidina Muhammad (s). So the most important is how to make sure that the Muslim in general are taught these principals in the Muslim schools and to be taught the discipline of Islam - how to behave with their friends, American friends because Muslims are Americans. They are born in America.
If you say to my daughter here "you are not American," she will refuse. She says "No, I am an American." She's laughing now. Also, my granddaughters or my grandsons, they would never accept. So, our duty as Muslims is to show the government that we want to work within the system. We don't want segregation, we want integration in the system. America opens their hands for all integration and Muslims have to step forward. This is, I think, the most pressing topic now and we are trying our best to unite the voice of Muslims, and to be working very closely now with the administration in order to implement the importance of Islamic teachings as a moderate religion because it is a heavenly religion. That is what we are trying to do now which is very important for us in United States and for Muslims outside the United States.
Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Raheem. What are you are mentioning is that you have to be very technical and you have to understand Islam very clearly with all its different interpretations in order to answer the first question. The second question is easy to answer. The first question you have to have a very good basic knowledge in Islam. I will answer the second question first and then I answer first question.
Q: The second question is why some Naqshbandis broke their fast two days earlier than the others?
A: That was a stupid mistake by them and it is not accepted and we do not allow it. They did it on their own. They will be responsible for it and that's why I said if they are going to repent not to me, but to Allah (swt) and Prophet (s), for every day they did that, they must fast 60 days because they broke fast without the country breaking fast. When the country breaks fast, we break fast. We cannot break fast by ourselves. It is not a joke. Islam religion is not a joke. You are in a certain country, living in Indonesia for example, the government fast the first day, this is when you fast. They break fast, you break fast with them. They kept fasting, you keep fasting with them. Saudi Arabia fasted 28 days one time. but they made a mistake, the government. That was like seven or eight years ago, but they announced that they made a mistake and said that you have to fast another two days. Our people they didn't make a mistake. They did it - I don't like to say it was intentionally - but they had no right to do it because they are not the judges or authority in the country. Saudia Arabia they did it because their was a mistake of seeing the moon. They thought they saw the moon, but they it was not correct so they told their people they have to fast back. But here, they knew that everyone is fasting and even we were fasting. All Naqshbandis around the world are fasting according to the country. Even my shaykh is fasting in Cyprus, even if he is fasting and the country in Cyprus broke fast, we cannot break fast in America. We have to keep fasting because we are following the country or we are following the Muslim countries like this year, all of them broke fast on Sunday, so we broke fast on Sunday.
So that is the answer, the easy answer. They are responsible for what they have done and I think they ask repentence in public and are fasting the 120 days punishment for missing the two days. It is not me that put the Shari'ah, it is Sayyidina Muhammad (s) that put the shari'ah. So for every day that they broke fast intentionally, they have to fast 60 days or if they are sick, they have to give food for 60 person per day. So some of them are doing that, some of them are not doing, I don't know. But this is their punishment and the rule for them to follow in order to be forgiven by Allah and his Prophet (s).
The first question is that why their was two times celebration of Laylatu 'l-Qadr? I'm also not going to go into the technicality of it in Islamic Shari'ah. Prophet (s) said "fast when you see the moon and break fast when you see the moon." So, some countries today might be there is a cloud and they cannot see the moon, but the moon is there. So, some countries now are following technology, are following by calculation. Because now they know everything by calculation. They know when the moon is the birth of the moon, the first day of the moon, and they know the second month, the first day of the moon. So, by technology now they can make calculation. So Islamic scholars around the world, some of them approve technology and say we can go ahead with it. And some of them say no, we have to see the moon. We are not going to enter into the differences in them because it is very technical. Ninety percent of people won't understand it. So we go with the simple way as normal Muslims and go with the country. So Turkey and some other Muslim countries and Mawlana was part of it, they fasted before Indonesia by one day. I think it was on Thursday, Friday here, but Thursday in the Arab countries and Turkey and Mawlana is part of Turkey so he fast with the country. So if he fast before Indonesia by one day, then Laylatu 'l-Qadr will before before Indonesia by one day. So, they celebrated Laylatu 'l-Qadr there at that time, and you celebrate after one day. So, it is not that it was two days. It was one day. But for them they follow their country and they have right to do that and you follow your country. This is how Prophet (s) mentioned, you follow the country that you are in. In Cyprus or Turkey they cannot follow Indonesia and Indonesia cannot follow Turkey So everyone has his own area where he can see the moon before the others. So that is the first question and I think that is enough for these two questions.
Q: I would like to know what is your view, how do you see the future of Islamic Indonesia? because sometimes it is very democratic. also how do you see the future of Islam in the Western Countries?
A: A`oodhu billahi min ash'Shaytani r-Rajim. Bismillahi r-Rahmani r-Raheem. Inna 'd-deena `indallahi 'l-Islam - Religion to Allah is Islam. Since it is the religion of Allah (swt) that he revealed to Sayyidina Muhammad (s), I am seeing it that never going to be down. Haqq came, Baatil disappearing. Haqq came with the religiion of Islam, with the seal of messengers, Sayyidina Muhammad (s). So, it cannot be down. Muslims, yes, can be down, but Islam cannot. Islam is perfect. al-yawma akmaltu lakum deenakum wa atmamtu `alaykum ni`matee wa radeetu lakumu 'l-islaamu deena - "Today, I have perfected your religion and I have provided you with my favors and I accepted Islam to be your religion." So, Islam is going to be known around the world. Those who like to be Muslims, Alhamdulil'lah. Those who doesn't like to be Muslim, it is up to them. So, we cannot say that Islam is going to take over or Muslims have to take over. Islam, already Allah said it is the religion of heaven. Like when Sayyidina Musa (as), Allah send him. Torah was the religion of heavens that was revelead to Sayyidina Musa. When Sayyidina Isa came, the Bible came from heaven and was the religion of heaven. When Islam came, it was the religion of heaven. Holy Qu'ran came from heaven.
So now, we cannot say everyone has to accept Islam. No, they like the like. They don't like it's up to them. But our duty is to make sure as Muslims to be seen as good and moderate people, not to be terrorists. Unfortunately, that is the problem. We are stubborn with our ideas, we are difficult with our ways. Not us, but those who are saying they are Muslims, but showing Muslims as if a religion of suicide bombing, which is not accepted. I can say that Allah (swt) wants everyone to feel happy and to live happy. So he gave them according to their prophets, he gave them religions. And we as Muslims, Allah gave us the best perfect man that Allah chosen - Sayyidina Muhammad (s). So, he brought this message, it is a message of perfection, it is message of heaven. Nowadays, you can go around the world and everyone knows Islam. Islam is on the tongue of every human being, which is good for us. But, we have to show our respect to our religion by showing that we are good people and live together in harmony. Now, Islam in Indonesia. You know unfortunately, their are hundreds of divisions in Islam. They say there are four school of thought. And then if you add on top of them the Ja`fari school of thought - Shi'ah school of thought, Ja`fari, and the Zaydi and the Abaadi which have been accepted by Azhar of Egypt. So there are seven schools of thought, but in reality one of big scholars of Egypt has counted how many school of thought in Islam? He found 462 schools of thought. Which one you want to follow? They made people to be confused. They don't know what to do now. Everyone taking one side and they don't meet. If they meet at the end, alhamdulil'lah, but they don't meet. Everyone going from one way to the other way.
The Prophet (s) indicated that a day is coming on this Earth that too much ignorance fill this Earth. And today we see too much ignorance, not about science, but about behaviors and relationships with each other. We have become cruel like animals in the jungle. We are very cruel against each other, so we ask Allah (swt) to keep this country peaceful and every country peaceful, in the west or in the east or the south or the north.
I would like to comment on this. I got the translation on the young, beautiful girl who was reciting it. She said and I will explain a little bit.
"Oh Holy Prophet!
You have been born
from the womb of a mother named Amina.
You are the perfect man.
You are the Seal of Messengers.
You are God's lover.
Every human being
has to commemorate your birth,
Yaa Muhammad (s).
On the twelfth of Rabi`al-Awwal,
peace and peace and peace glorifying your name.
Yaa Nabi salaamu `alayka.
Yaa Rasool salaamu `alayka.
Yaa Habeeb salaamu `alayka.
Allah (swt) said in Holy Quran
I know you are orphan.
Your father and your mother died,
but I gave you shelter.
I gave you place to live,
I gave you heaven.
I gave you earth.
I gave you everything.
I gave you knowledge."
Allah gave the orphan the best knowledge. The best orphan. The symbol of orphans, Allah gave him ascension, the night of ascension, the night of journey (Laylatu 'l-Mi`raj). Allah gave him "Iqra - Read in the name of the Lord that He created, created human being from a clot." Allah gave Sayyidina Muhammad (s) everything.
And then she continued, that beautiful girl saying:
"Your face like the sun shining on the Earth.
You are example of commendable characters.
You are the jewel heart raining in the heart."
And then she said about herself now that young girl and listen to what she said:
"I found myself in the womb of my mother alone
between screams, pains,
moans of a mother struggling
to have me born,
but Divine Destiny came quickly
and took my mother away to Allah.
My mother died.
Then a father struggled against temptations.
His illness was so great
that he was fighting for his life,
but fate and destiny
told me differently.
Daddy and Mommy have passed away.
Daddy and Mommy have passed away.
Now, I was born into the world
as an orphan
Oh my Lord,
I miss my mother's caress.
I miss my mother's face
that I saw in her womb.
I miss my father's affection.
I miss my family's togetherness.
I pray for my daddy and mommy's
leaving as a shaheed,
a martyr in your path.
Show us the straight path.
to keep the orphan
as always as it should be.
Make people to help us.
Make people to look after us.
Make people to be generous to us.
Patience and trust always be my glove.
make me a useful person in front of You."
May Allah forgive us. It was striking to my heart when I read these beautiful words that this young girl was singing. May Allah forgive us. May Allah bless us. May Allah give us from his endless mercy ocean.
I will end with one hadith of Prophet (s) which I think we should know. We should explain it little bit. Prophet (s) said, "the `amal of a human being should be cut when he dies except from three things..."
It means whatever you do in dunya, when you die or someone die, finished. He cannot anymore pray or fast. So what he did, he will gain. If he lost, he lost. If he gain, he gain. So you cannot change. You cannot do any `amal in the grave, only three `amals that can come to your grave and reward you more and more. What are they? Prophet (s) said "a flowing donation." If you are a generous person and you gave in the way of Allah (swt), any money or even a brick in a masjid or a hospital or a school or an orphanage or in a university, that is something that benefit people, from everything they benefit with it, that sadaqa, even if its a small brick, it will be daily rewarding you every minute. Allah, the reward that he rewarded you for it today, it will go all the way, every day the same rewards come even when you are grave, more and more rewards will come in the grave because of the sadaqa that you gave in dunya.
Second, (the Prophet (s) said, "is) a knowledge that you keep behind you that people get benefit from it." It means you are a writer, you write something about Islam, education, you are teaching people chemistry, physics, psychology, businesses. Anything that you make people to get benefit from that knowledge that you leave behind you, you will be rewarded and this reward will continue in the grave.
Third, (the Prophet (s) said, "is) a child that you raised him well and he will always remember you and make tahleel for you, read Quran for you and make sadaqa on the behalf of their mother or father." So, that one that you have raised, mother or father, raised their children well, Allah (swt) will reward them in their grave because that child is doing good things and praying for them in his life.
So, what I am seeing here. MaashaAllah in this university, that it is a place for education. It means those who build it brick by brick, Allah (swt) rewarding them daily in their life and daily in their graves until Day of Judgement. Those who are teaching, and their knowledge people are going to benefit from it, also they are going to be rewarded for it. And third, if they raise them on Islamic education, especially the orphans that we just saw that they are praising Sayyidina Muhammad (s), they are doing well in their behaviors, they are perfect Muslims, Allah (swt) will reward those who are looking after these children and reward the people who brought these children here today to entertain us for some time and also to give us the taste to say "Oh our Prophet (s) didn't have his father and his mother. How much we are lucky to have a father and a mother that are taking care of us."
May Allah (swt) give all those who are working hard in order to accomplish something - I heard 28 schools - which is not easy; it is a lot of expenses, a lot of money. May Allah (swt) grant you happiness, your children, all those who are here, and us happiness.
And finally, I would like to say that we have problems and everyone has problems, people must know that they must be very careful in how they present their teachers, their shuyukh. You cannot put the name of your shaykh on something that you right or you do because you might make lot of mistakes without bad intention, might be your intention is good, but these mistakes are unforgiven mistakes because it will harm a lot and it will make a big problem. So, we have to be very careful of using the pictures of the shaykh, or the name of the shaykh, or the name of the organization without permission, without knowing what you are doing or else you will jeopardize your shaykh, your tariqah, you jeopardize your brothers and sisters. So, no one is authorized from our Naqshbandi group to translate books without direct permission from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim for his books, or my books or my brother's, because it might make a big misunderstanding. Because not everyone can understand these high speeches that have been given on Islamic issues and Islamic principles. That person might lose the meaning and might make it to look differently. So there are lot of these issues that we do not accept and we do reject. We ask those people, they can use their name, no problem, they put a book they put their name, we have no responsibility.
So, I from here say that we never saw these books or their contents and I reject all of these books that have been put and I authorize some people to collect them and we burn them all in order to be very precise in what we are writing. The only book that has been translated into your language, Bahasa, are accepted by me is the Islamic Encyclopedia for Doctrines and Beliefs. Four volumes have been translated and published by Sirambe. This I accept.
Also, I accept the Approach of Armageddon that has been translated. These five different books, we accept them because they are translated by professional translators and we check them with many people and they are same meaning that we have in the original English books. So, these are the books I accept. Other than these, I am not accepting. It is not our responsibility, it is not our liability. It is liability of those people. We hope that those people insha'Allah will try to be better and to understand the situation, and take some courses in Islamic studies and tassawwuf and by this way they will understand more and might be their writings in the future it's better, but they have to keep their writing under their name and their picture, not under any other. I would like to end with saying that might be, as I said, those who wrote or made these books might have good intention, but unfortunately they don't have a very deep knowledge of tasawwuf or Islamic religion, that's why they made such mistakes. We hope that Insha'Allah they will achieve more knowledge and do better in their lives.